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Monday, January 6, 2014

Seven Ways to Improve Your Marriage in 2014

Most of us want the New Year to be a fresh start in our lives. The old calendar, with all of its notes and appointments and reminders of things that didn't go well is pitched, and a new one, fresh with possibilities, hangs in its place/

We usually look at change in ourselves, but why not try for a change for the better in your marriage?

It's not hard. You don't need grand gestures,or a dozen roses every night. There's an old song..."Little Things mean a Lot"...and it's nowhere more true than in marriage.

So here we go...
  • Pray for your spouse daily - take a minute (yes, 60 seconds) to pray specifically for your mate's happiness and comfort. Visualize good things coming their way, and ask the Almighty to guide their steps.
  • Start the day with physical affection - take the time for a hug and kiss, first thing. It's become fashionable to say that our lives are so hectic that we "just have time to wave at each other as we pass", but we make the decision to allow this. So...we can make the decision to stop, and say, with our arms and lips, "I love you".
  • Surrender the remote - if you watch TV together, try this...pick up the remote and hand it to your spouse with a smile, and sit down to watch whatever's selected, without any sort of negative comment. It's a sign of trust, and while you may have to sit through a few hours of NASCAR or Downton Abbey, you'll soon find that your mate's having to take the responsibility for the selection will bring up entertainment that you'll both enjoy.
  • Give thanks- how often have you said "thank you" to your spouse for doing what they do every day? When the trash is taken out - give thanks. When they're going out the door to work - thank them for that. Recognize what your mate does. We all want to be special, and this is one way to make them feel just that.
  • Give praise - give compliments freely, and in unexpected places. If you never say much about what your husband wears, saying "you look nice today" can leave him thinking about what you said for hours.(something to which he'll never admit!).If your wife does the cooking, don't just say that it was delicious after the meal. Say it smells nice, or looks appetizing before you eat.
  • Give gifts - put small, thoughtful 'just because' presents where your mate will find them as a surprise. Things like a favorite candy bad, or a magazine that contains an article they'll find interesting. It doesn't have to be huge - just focused on your spouse's happiness.
  • Anticipate needs - change the roll of toilet paper, replace the shampoo when it's getting low, and make sure the refrigerator always has what your spouse likes best. Make your mate feel like there's someone who's watching out for them - you!
These action items take little time, and once you get into the habit, not much thought. But they'll pay dividends in a brighter and happier life together.

And that will last a lifetime.

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